Updated: 23/09/16 : 05:19:15
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Sligo ambulances included in checks after fatality

ALL AMBULANCES serving Sligo University Hospital will be included in the immediate nationwide safety check.

This follows the fire fatality in which one elderly man lost his life in an ambulance outside a hospital emergency department yesterday, Wednesday.

Two paramedics also suffered injuries in the incident at Naas hospital in Co Kildare.

Now, a key check have been ordered promptly by the National Ambulance Service.

This will focus on all oxygen containers and staff have been requested to ''re-familiarise themselves'' with emergency ambulance evacuation procedures.

Oxygen Related

Last night, the HSE said early indications suggested the explosion caused a fire to start in the rear of the vehicle. 

“While the results of the full investigations are awaited, it would appear that the explosion was related to oxygen. 

“As a result, the National Ambulance Service is issuing an immediate safety action notice.

''(This is) to ensure all oxygen is checked and has also directed its supplier to undertake a programme of checks on the oxygen in our ambulances.

Sealed Containers

“Staff have also been asked to re-familiarise themselves with the emergency ambulance evacuation procedures,” said the HSE.

Ambulances can carry up to six sealed cylinders of different types of potentially flammable gas to treat patients at a scene and while transporting them.


These include oxygen and also an analgesic gas and air mix for pain relief.


The ambulance in the incident was a new one commissioned inside the past year, HSE boss Tony O'Brien confirmed on RTÉ last night.